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16.01.2015 16:20

Press Review: SNB Officials Eating Words Risk Lasting Investor Aches


Brent crude oil holds above $48, few analysts see quick recovery

(Reuters) - Brent crude oil futures edged higher on Friday, holding above $48 a barrel as analysts said prices were well supported around current levels, although few expect a strong rebound anytime soon as global output continues to outweigh demand.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were trading at $48.38 per barrel at 0802 GMT, up 11 cents since their last settlement. U.S. crude was trading at $46.50 a barrel, up 25 cents.

"Our forecast seems to point towards a consolidation stage in the weeks to come," Phillip Futures said in a note. "Therefore, we expect crude prices to trade range bound between $44.75-$50.69 for WTI Mar'15 and $46.4-52.89 for Brent Mar'15."



SNB Officials Eating Words Risk Lasting Investor Aches

Brace for $40-a-barrel oil.

Switzerland's central bank officials have just eaten their words, risking lingering indigestion in financial markets.

Just three days after SNB Vice President Jean-Pierre Danthine called the franc cap a "pillar" of monetary policy, the SNB yesterday dropped the minimum exchange rate of 1.20 per euro.

The shock abandonment of the SNB's primary policy of the past three years may now leave investors warier of taking officials' words at face value, according to economists including Karsten Junius, chief economist at Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG in Zurich. By scrapping one tool, the franc cap, SNB President Thomas Jordan risks blunting the effects of another.



Gold Heads for Second Weekly Advance as Swiss Shock Boosts SPDR

Gold traded near a four-month high, set for a second weekly gain, on haven demand after Switzerlands's unexpected currency move. Assets in the largest exchange-traded product expanded the most since 2011.

Bullion for immediate delivery was at $1,259.29 an ounce at 3:37 p.m. in Singapore from $1,262.75 a day earlier, when prices jumped 2.8 percent for the biggest increase this year, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal rallied on Jan. 15 to $1,266.85, the highest since Sept. 8, as the SNB ended the franc's cap versus the euro. Gold traded at its most expensive relative to platinum since April 2013.

Gold rose 3 percent this week, extending a 2.9 percent increase a week earlier, as the Swiss bank's move roiled currency and equity markets. That spurred demand for the bullion as a haven as investors returned to ETPs, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. The SNB's decision comes a week before European Central Bank policy makers meet on Jan. 22 to discuss introducing new stimulus amid concern Greece may exit the currency bloc after a Jan. 25 election.


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